March 4, 2005

my motto

Ever since I learned that the mathematician, Karl Fredreich Gauss had a motto, I have also wanted to have a motto. Gauss' motto was:

Few, but ripe.

His motto had to do with the discovery of new mathematical theorems. In other words, "I may only have a few theorems that I have proved, but they are really good." Even though I am a mathematician, I will probably not claim this motto, because the likelihood of me discovering some new "ripe" mathematical thought is highly improbable, if not impossible. I am still trying get a grip on the less complex mathematical stuff.

The motto that I have come up with probably isn't as good as Gauss', but it is a phrase that I have been saying to myself and to some of my students for a couple of years now. It started as a form of advice for certain students who didn't know what to do in questionable situations; situations where knowing the exact right thing to do seemed elusive. This phrase would also prove to be quite useful in my own life when the times were difficult. I would find myself saying, "I just don't know what to do God!" and somewhere in the back of my mind, that still small voice would say this phrase:

Do what you know.

It is short, it is to the point, and I think that if lived it can have tremendous impact on your daily life. Most Christians know alot more about how to live than they actually put into practice.

We want to discuss hymns vs. modern worship, but we fill our minds with trash the rest of the week. We want to discuss the sovreignty of God and the Love of God, but then we don't love our own enemies, knowing that when we were the enemies of God, He first loved us!

In the words of Christ, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices - mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law - justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."

The Bible says not to lie. So don't lie, put it off! Get rid of that! And start putting on the telling of truth. The Bible says to be kind. So be kind! Let your life be known for its kindness. Forget yourself, lose yourself! It is OK to dig in deep to the word of God to discern those weighty matters, but that should not be done to the neglect of what you already know. Many of us have been taught these truths since we were small children, and we still aren't doing it! I can remember as a kid, everytime that I fought with one of my siblings, my mom would make us quote this verse, "Be ye kind, one to another." So it isn't like I don't know to be kind, I know it, so I should do it. When we focus on what we don't know and neglect what we do know, that is an atrocity. So I add to my motto:

Do what you know, and do it as much as you can.

May you be able to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." And really, that is the evidence of our partaking in Christ. Hebrews 3:14 says, "We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence that we had at first." What a great salvation we have.

"How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"

Do what you know.